Slipping into oblivion

In the story “Man with a twisted lip” where the famous detective Sherlock Homes talks about visiting opium dens for days together primarily to escape the burden of day to day existence. People drank, indulged in substance abuse only because they wanted to forget their mundane existence for a brief time. In oblivion, people are free to choose what they want to be and that is an exciting prospect.

Today the digital world has made it even simpler, cheaper and harmless (no bodily injury caused). So many people drift aimlessly in facebook or social media fantasizing how their life could have been. Some selectively share the tit-bits of their life in such a way to paint a very different (often untrue) picture of themselves and glamorizing their existence.

I recently asked a group of online gamers a question: ”What is worse: your wife/girlfriend finding out that you were playing computer games way past midnight or her finding out that you were watching porn.” Unanimously people responded that their partners would be (relatively) ok to be caught indulging in porn. They say it is easier to explain. What is harder to explain is their need to waste time away in a fantasy world.

Even though they are not harming anybody, doing anything amoral or even harming themselves (except a few hours wasted) why does society brand it as an addiction and looks down upon? Human beings, by very nature, need variety to feed their souls. Maybe in absence of too many viable options, they settle for this.

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